Sunday, May 25, 2014

Scratch Built Millennium Falcon

Millennium Falcon FX Miniature Replication Project

This site offering details on how the author scratch-built a 32 inch wide Millennium Falcon primarily out of styrene. There are instructions that detail the steps that the author took to create his Millennium Falcon. The model includes a detailed cockpit, lighting, and 500 amour plates that were painstakingly installed on the model. There are also images depicting the different stages of the Falcon’s development.

Battle-tech Mech-Scratch building Demystified

This article provides instructions and some images depicting the process of creating a scratch built Battletech Mech model. The instructions are not very detailed, but provide a basic overview of the process. The main material used for the model is styrene; however some metal tubing was also used to add structural strength to the model. The models design was used by FASA in the first addition of the tabletop combat game. Although not a true Star Wars Walker I labeled this post with this attribute anyway to help indentify this post.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Specifications of the Albatross

The Albatross is said to be able to run at speeds up to 120 MPH; this not to say how fast the craft could travel with a good wind at her back. Other specifications of the Albatross are directly from Verne’s Rubur the Conqueror.

Platform—This was a framework a hundred feet long and twelve wide, a ship's deck in fact, with a projecting prow. Beneath was a hull solidly built, enclosing the engines, stores, and provisions of all sorts, including the water tanks. Round the deck a few light uprights supported a wire trellis that did duty for bulwarks. On the deck were three houses, whose compartments were used as cabins for the crew, or as machine rooms. In the center house was the machine which drove the suspensory helices, in that forward was the machine that drove the bow screw, in that aft was the machine that drove the stern screw. In the bow were the cook's galley and the crew's quarters; in the stern were several cabins, including that of the engineer, the saloon, and above them all a glass house in which stood the helmsman, who steered the vessel by means of a powerful rudder. All these cabins were lighted by port-holes filled with toughened glass, which has ten times the resistance of ordinary glass. Beneath the hull was a system of flexible springs to ease off the concussion when it became advisable to land.

Engines of Suspension and Propulsion—Above the deck rose thirty-seven vertical axes, fifteen along each side, and seven, more elevated, in the center. The "Albatross" might be called a clipper with thirty-seven masts. But these masts instead of sails bore each two horizontal screws, not very large in spread or diameter, but driven at prodigious speed. Each of these axes had its own movement independent of the rest, and each alternate one spun round in a different direction from the others, so as to avoid any tendency to gyration. Hence the screws as they rose on the vertical column of air retained their equilibrium by their horizontal resistance. Consequently the apparatus was furnished with seventy-four suspensory screws, whose three branches were connected by a metallic circle which economized their motive force. In front and behind, mounted on horizontal axes, were two propelling screws, each with four arms. These screws were of much larger diameter than the suspensory ones, but could be worked at quite their speed. In fact, the vessel combined the systems of Cossus, La Landelle, and Ponton d'Amécourt, as perfected by Robur. But it was in the choice and application of his motive force that he could claim to be an inventor.

Machinery—Robur had not availed himself of the vapor of water or other liquids, nor compressed air and other mechanical motion. He employed electricity, that agent which one day will be the soul of the industrial world. But he required no electro-motor to produce it. All he trusted to was piles and accumulators. What were the elements of these piles, and what were the acids he used, Robur only knew. And the construction of the accumulators was kept equally secret. Of what were their positive and negative plates? None can say. The engineer took good care—and not unreasonably—to keep his secret unpatented. One thing was unmistakable, and that was that the piles were of extraordinary strength; and the accumulators left those of Faure-Sellon-Volckmar very far behind in yielding currents whose ampères ran into figures up to then unknown. Thus there was obtained a power to drive the screws and communicate a suspending and propelling force in excess of all his requirements under any circumstances.”

Rubur the Conquerer, Chapter 7 On Board The Albatross, Jules Verne

Quote from Rubur the Conquerer

Image was found here and is in the public domain.

“Honorable balloonists”, Rubur said in a serious tone. “You are free to come and go as you like.”

“Free!” exclaimed Uncle Prudent.

“Yes-within the limits of the Albotross!” By this time they were about four-thousand feet above the earth.

Quote from Rubur the Conquerer

Friday, May 23, 2014

Suppliers of Plastic Sprue

In a previous post I mentioned the existence of other sources of plastic spruce. These single plastic spruce usually contain only a few torsos, but also contain multiple alternative parts like heads, arms, legs, guns, and other equipment. These spruces allow you enough parts to assemble the figures in a couple different configurations. Often these spruce come from the supplier’s regular miniatures boxed kits or sets. Here is a short list of suppliers of plastic spruces:

Perry Miniatures

Perry Miniatures supply 28mm plastic miniatures and offer the largest selection of miniature sprue. Perry offers a Desert Rat command, Afrikakorps command, Continental command,15th century European Mercenary command, Russian Napoleonic Infantry command, Austrian Napoleonic Infantry Command, Confederate Command, and British AWI command miniatures to name just a few of Perry’s offerings

Warlord Games

Warlord Games offers 28mm plastic miniature spruce from many of their line of products: Hail Caesar, Pike and Shott, and Bolt Action lines. Warlord offers plastic spruce from the following eras: WWII, Anglo-Zulu, Napoleonic, and ancients from Celtic warriors, Casers Legions, and Greek Spartans. By the way, Warlord is currently offering 50% off their stock of plastic spruce.

Valiant Miniatures

Valiant Miniatures offers a few plastic spruce in 1/72 scale depicting WWII themes. Two of their spruce includes wheeled equipment like a British 6 pounder and a German horse drawn cart.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Single Plastic Games Workshop Sprue

I was preforming one of my reverse web searches the other day. This is where I search through the images on a particular topic and visit the associated website for those I have an interest. I was searching for plastic spruces and came upon a plastic wolf and High Elf horse, but for some reason I did not initially save the link to my Bookmarks. I have been searching for those spruce ever since. Well today, by chance, I finely relocated those plastic spruces. They were found at Great Escape Games. Here is what I have settled on:

According to online literature these miniatures are either 25 or 28mm. Although the Bretonnian Horse seems like a generic looking horse, the other two horses look like they will fit well into a fantasy theme game, as well as the wolf, which looks very aggressive and menacing.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

28mm Persians

I recently received six plastic sprue from the Wargames Factory. All of the sprue are identical and included a total of twelve Persians. The sprue measure 3 wide by 4 inches long and each sprue contains the following components: two torsos with different poses, six arms molded to hold a verity of weapons and or shields, one arm is holding a bow, four heads with different poses, two swords, two shields, one full length, a battle axe, a spear, and a quiver with a bow and set of arrows. The detail looks pretty good.

What I really like about these plastic miniatures is that there are so many possible configurations and combinations of swords and a shield, or shield and a spear. There are other sources of plastic sprue miniatures and in a couple different sizes. Like I mentioned, these are in 28mm, but there are also plastic miniatures in 1/72. More about this 1/72 sprue supplier and others in an upcoming post.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Prophet Word Spoken over Reepicheep

When asked whether sailing to Aslan’s country was even possible, Reepicheep answered “I don’t know Madam, but there is this. When I was still in my cradle a wood woman, a Dryad spoke this verse over me:

‘Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not Reepicheep,
To find what you seek,
Look to the utter east’ “

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Chronicles of Narnia

Monday, May 19, 2014

Reepicheep, another Creature of Narnia

Reepicheep had won recognition and “undying glory” in the Battle of Beruna. Reepicheep was the chief mouse and the most valiant of all the talking creatures of Narnia. The mice of Narnia hadn’t always talked. The mice had been given speech by Alsen when they help him break his bounds that had been imposed on him by the white witch Jadis. Mice also, before receiving speech, did not they have the same stature as Reepicheep. Reepicheep stood on his hind legs and was about two feet tall. His fur was very dark and almost black. Around his waist, he wore a sword that just about touched the ground.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


A few weeks ago I relabeled a post I had made about a couple of horse drawn wagons I wanted to build in 2104. At that time I had used one label called ancient Rome. Since then I have decided to use a label Ancients as it will better suit my needs.

I had no intention, at first, to model ancients, but with the Roman Nobelman's Chariot and am planning on purchasing a Macedonian War Elephant. I felt these models would be fun to build. Why else would purchase a particular model?

In addition, I just received a set of Persians from the Wargame Factory. Wargame Factory is offering a set of six sprue with a total of twelve 28mm Persians with assorted equipment, ETC; more about these plastic figures in an upcoming post. Who knows what other interests might perk my curiosity and add to my miniature collection?

Friday, May 16, 2014

My Late Spring and Summer Reading List

I just added the first three novels in my list to my library. I have a long list of novels to read including several new epubs that I recently downloaded. I will most probably be making posts on some of these titles.
  1. Unfinished Tales, J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. Mossflower (Redwall #2), Brian Jacques
  4. The Scarlet Pimpernel, Baroness Emma Orczy
  5. El Dorado, Baroness Emma Orczy
  6. The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel, Baroness Emma Orczy
  7. The Elusive Pimpernel, Baroness Emma Orczy
  8. Five Weeks in a Balloon, Jules Verne
  9. Michael Strogoff or Curer for the Czar, Jules Verne
  10. The Adventures of Captain Horn, Frank R. Stockton

Thursday, May 15, 2014

O Gauge Horizontal Engine

Although this Horizontal Engine model, manufactured by Keystone Locomotive Works, is in ¼ scale it can and will be used on my HO gauge model train layout. Steam engines like this may have been found in the in the deep woods supplying power for a sawmill, or in industrial areas powering machinery in a knitting mill or supplying power for a pump at pumping station.

As you can see in the directions the kit is not too complex; two hours to construct and a perhaps a half hour to paint and detail. Not too sure where this detail piece will end-up on my layout yet, but I am sure an opportunity will present itself eventually.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How to Make a Wooden Hut from (Mostly) Plastic Sprue

As the title implies this is a very interesting article on how the author created a wooden hut primarily out of plastic sprue. There are plenty of images and detailed instructions on the huts construction. Although plastic spruces were used in this structure, the techniques described here can be used with plastic sheet and strips. Reading on a project like this gives impulse to create one for myself.

Jules Verne’s Voyages Extraordinaires that Have a Sequel

As far as my readings of Jules Verne have taken me these are the only sets of sequels that I know of. I would be happy to find out otherwise…

Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea
Mysterious Island

These tales include the mention of Captain Nemo and his Nautilus submarine.

Robur the Conqueror
The Master of the World

These tales are about embittered engineers and their airships. I found The Master of the World better reading than Robur the Conqueror. Robur the Conqueror really didn’t have too much of a plot.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Battleship Bismarck

The allies had already lost many ships in the Atlantic to German U-boats and wolf-packs. So when it was reported that the battleship Bismarck and the heavy cruiser the Prinz Eugen were their leaving their port for the Atlantic the allies were concerned. The British admiralty went all out to sink the Bismarck.

The admiralty sent the Suffolk and Norfolk a pair of cruisers and two battle ships, the Prince of Wales a new battleship just out of the shipyard and the venerable HMS Hood. The Hood had equal firepower of the Bismarck, but lacked sufficient armor and was hit by a shell from the Bismarck exploding its ammunition magazine blowing the HMS Hood to bits.

There is some conversely about what or who sank the Bismarck, but after the sinking of the HMS Hood it was all out war against the Kriegsmarine and especially the Bismarck. Several warships were dispatched by the admiralty; one the HMS Ark Royal had fifteen antiquated biplanes on-board. One of the biplanes was able to ram the Bismarck’s rudder crippling the Bismarck and forcing her into large turning circle, one in which she could not escape.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Creatures from the Chronicles of Narnia

Although I have heard mention of a few of these beings before, I never took the time to look-up find their particular attributes and characteristics. Here is another quote from “Prince Caspian, The Chronicles of Narnia", by C. S. Lewis, with the three creatures in question hyperlinked.

“I wish Aslan had turned up before it came to this,” said Trumkin.
“So do I,” said Truffelhunter. “But look behind you.”
“Crows and crockery!”, muttered the Dwarf as soon as he had done so.
“What are they? Huge people-beautiful people-like gods and goddesses and giants. Hundreds and thousands of them, closing in behind us. What are they?
“It’s the Dryads and Hamadryads and Silvans,” said Trufflehunter. “Aslan has wakened them”.

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Exclamations of Trumpkin

Trumpkin was a Red Dwarf, an old Narnian, who is featured in Prince Caspian, The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis. Trumpkin had a tendency use odd phrases when he was surprised. Some the phrases that I have encountered, in my reading, so far are: “Weights and water bottles”, “Bottles and battledores”, “Whistles and whirligigs”, “Bulbs and bolsters”, “Horns and halibuts”, “Crows and crockery”, “Wraiths and wreckage”, “Coddles and kettledrums!” It might be an interesting to analyze these exclamations for their consequence.

Micro Navies-Kriegsmarine 1/4800 Scale Miniatures Group 2

Here are my C in C’s MF-4803, German Group 2 miniatures. C in C #MF-4803 group contains 11 ships: Contains: 1 - Bismarck, 1 - Scharnhorst, 1 - Prinz Eugen, 1 - Graf Spee, 1 - Koln, 1 - Z23, 3 - Z24, 2 - Theodor Reidel.

Like the fleet I made a post on the other day, these ships will be used in a WWII skirmish game against their opponents from the Royal Navy.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Micro Navies-Royal Navy 1/4800 Scale Miniatures Group 1

Here are my C in C #MF-4802, group 1, Royal Navy ships that have been painted and are now out on patrol. This group contains 12 ships of the following types: 1 - Duke of York, 1 - Suffolk, 1 - Southampton, 1 - Jamaica, 2 - Ajax, 2 - M Class, 2 - O Class, 2 - P Class.

Although these ships are tiny, they have a lot of detail for their size. I am not sure as to how I will use these ships at this time; I don’t have any rules for a skirmish war-game nor do I have any stats on any of these vessels. Once statistics are compiled and some rules are obtained these ships will be used in some sort of skirmish with the German fleet I had ordered. I will be making a post on these vessels very soon.

This scale may be fun to play with, but I believe I will be investigating other scales as well. Perhaps 1/2400 scale, as this scale is well represented out in the market place. This scale offers a large selection of ships, decent prices, and with the larger scale better identification.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Hidden Hand of Fate

Shasta had ran toward the castle of King Lune and had given the King the news of the upcoming attack and was now riding the horse that had been given him my one of lords that was with the king. Shasta not really knowing how to ride a horse properly had been left behind by the King and his company.

Shasta first sensed the presence of someone walking aside his horse while he rode through a grove of trees. Shasta asked who was there riding next to him. The lion, Aslan answered Shasta and told him what he was and began to explain how he, Aslan had been there at different points in Shasta’s life to help him.

After conserving thusly for a while Shasta slipped out of his saddle and fell at the feet of Aslen…

”The High King above all kings stooped towards him. Some strange and solemn perfume that hung about its mane, was all around him. It touched his forehead with its tongue. He lifted his face, and their eyes met. Then instantly, the pale brightness of the mist and the fiery brightness of the Loin rolled themselves together into a swirling glory and gathered themselves up and disappeared.

Shasta was alone again and he was on a grassy hillside, under a blue sky and there were birds singing.”

The Horse and His Boy, Chapter Eleven, The Unwelcome Fellow Traveler, The Chronicles of Narnia.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Learning to Fly

The image of Leonardo da Vinci’s helicopter was found on Wikipedia and is in the public domain.

“When will man cease to crawl in the depths to live in the azure and quiet of the sky?”, Camille Falmmarion

According to Verne in his “Rubur the Conquerer” one of the following three modes must be employed in order to produce flight:

  1. Helicopters or spiralifers which are simply screws with a vertical axis
  2. Ornithopters, which are machines which endeavor to, reproduce the natural flights of birds
  3. Aeroplanes, which are merely inclined planes like kites, but are towed or driven by screws

Rubur the Conquerer, Jules Verne

Which of the modes did Rubur emulate for his airship the Albatross? Although it is said that Rubur abhorred the first two approaches, the description of the Albatross does make it seem more like the helicopter than an aeroplane.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Illustrations from Vernes Voyages Extraordinaires

If you read Verne’s work from a book then, depending on the edition, you had added benefit of viewing the books illustrations. However, if you are reading an epub, then you may not have had these illustrations included with the text. The following site features many of the illustrations, with explanatory notes, that were found in Verne’s novels-Voyages Extraordinaires.

The Illustrators of Jules Verne’s Voyages Extraordinaires

Saturday, May 3, 2014

House Rules for the Monsters Found in my Pirate Games

Like I mentioned in an earlier post sea monsters every description can be found in Whizkids Pirates of Davy Jones Curse and Pirates on Ocean Edge, as well as other editions. These monsters are typically grouped with the Cursed. What I was thinking was letting someone control these creatures as you would a fleet of ships.

The monsters have special abilities just like many of the ships and crewmembers. This collection of monsters would go about making life a bit more interesting for the other players. Not only would player have to deal with each other, but now would have to deal with these sea monsters.

The monsters already have set movements and even cannon fire, but when did monsters have the ability to inflict damage from firing a cannon? What abilities would creatures like these normally have?

  • A sea serpent might wrap itself around a ship and try to crush it (smaller ships might be more susceptible to this than a larger ship).
  • It might try to pick off a crewmember.
  • It might come up from the deep and capsize a ship
  • The creature might use its tail or body to de-mast or to remove other structures off of the ship.
  • The creature, once it has totally smashed the ship, might notice glittery treasure and pick-up these gold pieces( only to the their capacity).
  • Depending on the creature, it might have the ability to pull the ship under.

These abilities would be tied to dice rolls or whether or not the creature was submerged or not. A coin would be rolled at the beginning of the monsters turn to see whether they will make their movement submerged or on the surface. Of cause if moving on the surface they would be susceptible to cannon fire.

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Monsters of the Pirates of the Curse of Davy Jones and On Oceans Edge

There are reportedly many monsters included in Whizkids Pirates of the Curse of Davy Jones and On Oceans Edge, from sea serpents, fire breathing dragons, and giant crabs. I have yet to receive the later, but have received the following four monsters.

These monsters act like ships. They can fire cannon and their segments, wings, and other body parts act like masts and are removed on successful cannon shots. I am not all that crazy about these official rules and I am working on some house rules for these pieces. More to follow.

Jormungander can be found in Old Norse mythology. Jormungander is a sea serpent and within Pirates of Curse of Davey Jones has the following attributes:
Point Cost: 17
Nation: Curse
Masts: 4 (on a sea monster the serpents segments are considered masts)
Cargo Capacity: 4
Movement: L
Cannon: S2, S3, S3, L4
Special Abilities: If this sea monster succeeds at a boarding
attempt, it eliminates one mast, and can take one
unique treasure. The treasure is eliminated from
the game.
Before each turn the controller of this sea monster must declare whether the sea serpent is submerged or is on the surface.
If submerged it cannot be shot at.
It can pin or ram a ship, but cannot be pinned.
A sea monster cannot carry a crew, and cannot tow.

Maxehebel is the great granddaughter of Jormungander and has the following attributes:
Point Cost: 15
Nation: Cursed
Masts: 4 (on a sea monster the serpents segments are considered masts)
Cargo Capacity: 0
Movement: L
Cannon: L2, S2, S2, S3
Special Abilities: After resolving a Shoot Action this sea serpent may move as a free action
If this sea monster succeeds at a boarding
attempt, it eliminates one mast, and can take one
unique treasure. The treasure is eliminated from
the game
Before each turn the controller of this sea monster must declare whether the sea serpent is submerged or is on the surface.
If submerged it cannot be shot at.
It can pin or ram a ship, but cannot be pinned
A sea monster cannot carry a crew, and cannot tow

Shal-Bala is a Sea Dragon a flying creature and is most feared by seamen from every nation.
Point Cost: 20
Nation: Cursed
Masts: 4 (on a sea monster the serpents segments are considered masts)
Cargo Capacity: 0
Movement: D (since she can fly Shal-Bala has unlimited movement)
Cannon: L2, L3, L3, S2
Special Abilities: A Sea Dragon can be given two distinct shoot actions:
A normal shoot action
A swoop shoot action

Lusca: Although this sea monster has been seen by many a seafarer, this monster seems to be mechanical in nature. Did you notice the three green and what looks like portholes? In addition, this monster is flagged with a British flag.
Point Cost:
Nation: England
Masts: 4 (on a sea monster the serpents segments are considered masts)
Cargo Capacity: 0
Movement: L
Special Abilities:

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Crew from Pirates at Oceans Edge

Crew: Explorer (2)
Point Cost: 1
Nation: Spain
Special Abilities: This ship may dock and explore a wild island using the same move action.

Crew: Master CPO, Charles Richard     
Point Cost: 6
Nation: America
Special Abilities: This ship may move and shoot using the same action.This ship gets +1 to her boarding rolls.
She gets +2 added to her rolls against a sea monster.

Crew: Cannoneer
Point Cost: 2
Nation: America
Special Abilities: Once per turn, this ship gets to re-fire one of its cannon if it misses.                       
Crew: Helmsman
Point Cost: 2
Nation: Pirate
Special Abilities: This ships gets +S to her base move.

Crew: Musketeer
Point Cost: 3
Nation: England
Special Abilities: The ship with this crewman gains one S3 cannon. The cannon can shoot even from an eliminated mast.
Crew: Cannoneer
Point Cost: 2
Nation: Spain
Special Abilities: Once per turn, this ship gets to re-fire one of its cannon if it misses.

Crew: Captain (2)
Point Cost: 3
Nation: Pirate
Special Abilities: This ship may move and shoot using the same move action.
Crew: Captain
Point Cost: 3
Nation: France
Special Abilities: This ship may move and shoot using the same move action.

Crew: Davy Jones        
Point Cost: 12
Nation: Cursed
Link: All cursed ships
Special Abilities: Limit. Once per turn the holder of this crewman must roll a die. Upon a roll of 1-4 you may give this ship an extra action.  On a 5, you any give any ship you control an extra action and on a 6 you may give an enemy ship an action.
Limit: You may only use one of these cards per game.